What works for me: Goals, Productivity & #Motherhood

I was lucky enough to see my mentor on my trip to the city last week.  I am glad that I was able to make it happened. (I love seeing how the things I write down come to fruition #ThoughtsBecomeThings).

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Sandals (similar) | Pants | Tie up top | Chocker (similar)

She mentioned to me to enjoy my time off (Maternity Leave) because she could see the gears turning as I was talking to her about my thoughts for when I return.  She suggested to me to make a plan and set a date and then not to think about any of that until that time.  She told me to enjoy my time off (not really time off but you know) and enjoy my family.

I am – totally and completely.

Yesterday I walked back from the baby’s library program in the beautiful 24 degree weather with the sun shinning down and I couldn’t have been more content and present.

And I realized that part of me enjoying my time is having something to look forward to and something to achieve for myself.  I need this to feel like myself.  And if I don’t feel like myself, I won’t be happy.  And if a mom isn’t happy than it’s not a good thing for anybody.

So this is just a reminder to myself, to keep having goals (small daily wins and big audacious dreams) keep doing me so I can take care of myself and my family.

Back at it with @Fitbit

I love the fitbit.  And I think it’s because my job is pretty sedentary – it’s a way to get up and move during the day.

Around the 8th month of pregnancy and although I was still going into the office, I stopped wearing my #fitbit.  It was hard getting around (obviously) and because I was/am in so much competition with myself and getting my steps in, I was really putting myself down when I would end the day at 8000 steps or even 9500 steps but too lazy to walk a few circles around the house to finish it off.

TLY_FitbitUpdate3During the last trimester I feels its really important to do everything to be positive – I decided that I didn’t want to unnecessarily “pressure” myself if I didn’t get my steps in.

Now I’ve been wearing my fitbit again consistently for the last 3 months and I’m back in love.

I pretty consistently hit 10K 5/7 days a week.  Some days I get over 10K steps – and those days I want to go to bed early!  Who knew that walking could be that exhausting.

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What’s different this time around?

I am doing more challenges, some with friends (Weekend Warrior or Work Week Hustle) or solo (NYC Marathon etc).  These are just fun ways to be competitive but also get badges and trophies.  That said – it can become to competitive so I am taking a break from them.

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What have I learned?

You cannot push a stroller and expect to have your steps counted if you wear your fitbit on your arm.  If I know I am going to push a stroller or grocery cart, I put my fitbit in my pocked or into my sock to get an accurate count.

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Is there anything I don’t like about the fitbit?

I wish the fitbit was more fashion friendly.  I don’t like that the bracelet is as big as it is (although I wear one that is pretty close to my skin tone).

Admittantly using a fitbit for me is a bit of an obsession but a healthy one I would say. On the good active days I get a workout in, I’ll get my goal steps in, over 30 minutes of activity, have walked 8km and got pretty close to “burning” 2000 calories.  It’s just a gauge and everyone is different but it keeps me accountable it’s easy for me to manage.  Looking forward to the next 3 months of stepping.

Yesterday I meditated

I realized that I needed to actually meditate (not just throw it off my goals list with an excuse).  I also realized I needed a bit of guidance.  Thank goodness for free apps from the Appstore.  I tried this one as recommended by my sister.

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There was a little too much talking but I did appreciate the idea the announcer made of feeling my body’s weight and listening to the sounds around you (usually with mediation you try not to focus on those things).  When my thoughts wandered, I tried to focus mainly on counting (from 1 to 10) and following my breath.

It actually felt really relaxing and I even got an idea of something to paint #The100DayProject.

Something that helped me get in the mood was actually putting on clothes to mediate in. #GetUpDressUpShowUpNeverGiveUp

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If you been following the last 5 days, you might have noticed that I’ve blogged everyday from Monday to Friday and, as a goal and personal challenge,will continue to do so for the rest of June 2017.

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You also might notice that I didn’t actually get this post published on time.  I did 10 sun salutations for the first time in months yesterday and my muscles really felt the effects.

 

Weekend Activities + Weekly Goals (Part 5)

The weather finally stayed consistently warm this weekend which was pretty rad because I pretty much lived in my jean jacket!

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On Friday, Thursday I watched Minimalism (check the blog later this week for my thoughts on it). And then on Saturday I started watching Food Matters (another documentary I plan on discussing). If it were up to me I’d watch documentaries more often but that would mean the hubs would be falling asleep on the couch more often too :P

I am currently working on my June EdCal and plan on sharing my EdCal process for May as well. Without going into too much detail I loved having a tangible place to see my blog post ideas and found that it allowed me to be on top of my posting schedule (considering that posting more consistently is one of my Mat Leave goals).

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Ok onto how our weekend went!  We had one of Miss S’s preschool friends 3rd birthday party on Saturday morning.  Although birthday parties can take over your weekend – I actually love that the kiddos get to interact and see each other outside of school.  The rest of the day we took it easy by fitting in a workout, doing some groceries and hanging out at home.  Sunday we braved the rush at IKEA for an early lunch and to get my steps in. The Misters mom and I were in a Weekend Warrior challenge going on and she legit gave me a run for my money. Later in the day we headed over to the in laws to visit as my Father In Law just returned from India and it was my nephews birthday. 

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Here is my review on last weeks goals:

  1. Finish reading my book (see here)
  2. Continue research/gathering ingredients for the bread recipe (purchased yeast now time to try something!)
  3. Take more photography ex: OOTD, family photos, sisters snapshots (done! Got done visual content for the blog also)
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times (yep killed it on both accounts!)
  5. Get a grip with my laundry piles (done got folded away some still sitting in the the dryer and some still in the basket waiting to be put away )
  6. Update my Etsy shop (started to look at it but got distracted)
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print (nothing to report here)
  8. Do 10 sun salutations (I did 4 – will try again next week)
  9. List out monthly goals for June (done!)
  10. Start working on some photos books (not yet, although I ordered some photo magnets!)

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For this coming week these are my goals:

  1. Read 2 chapters for my book
  2. Make some bread!
  3. Take some more everyday photography shots and move photos from SD Card
  4. Get my 10K steps 5/7 days next week & Work out 4/7 times 
  5. Take Miss El to the Born to Read library program
  6. Update my Etsy shop 
  7. Water colour painting an a new canvas part print
  8. Do 10 sun salutations 
  9. Finish June EdCal
  10. Work on Miss S’s party planning

Have a great week!

Products I loved while pregnant #PregnancyEssentials

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one // two // three // four // five // six // seven

I love seeing what other mamma’s find helpful during different stages of our journey so I thought I’d add to the wealth of knowledge out there.

Mustela Maternity Cream: Although I wasn’t too concerned about the stretch marks (really it has to do with more than a cream) I really wanted a cream that smelled nice because I hate the smell of cocoa butter on myself and MORE IMPORTANTLY I really really wanted to avoid the itchy feeling you get :)  This cream was perfect.  It smelled clean and really helped with the itch factor.

Floss Picks:  Hello laziness!  This is an easy way to floss your teeth especially on those evenings when all you want to do is eat some fried chicken, ice cream and then pass out on the couch :P  Ok I didn’t really eat those things every night but passing out on the couch was my new lifestyle.

Aveeno Makeup Wipes:  Hello Laziness again!  It did an OK job (considering I normally use a foam face wash, then a cream eye make up remover) but it was good enough that I didn’t feel guilty going to bed with a full face.

Sea Salt Spray: Loved Loved LOVED this as a product and so glad I found it.  Sometimes super straight hair is too routine and it doesn’t really balance the bump.  So it was super great to have some proportion with more texture and volume in my hair.

Snoogle Pillow:  Sometimes you just need some extra support.  I mean there were nights that I didn’t want it and nights that it was the first thing I grabbed.  The hubz and kiddo also found it pretty comfy :)

Perrier Water:  I was only drinking water, milk and tea throughout my pregnancy.  And having bubbly water at the end of the day with my dinner or as a mocktail (with some muddled fruit and either basil or mint leaves) was such a nice treat!

Chocker Necklace: Another great style option that I added to my fashion look.  I didn’t buy many clothes and felt that I ended up wearing the same 10 pieces near the end.  So wearing chockers of different styles was an easy way to be on trend.

Hope this list was helpful…!
Check out these other mama essentials must haves here, here and here.

My 3 months with fitbit #FindYourFit

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Since about mid October 2016 I have been wearing my Fitbit (well actually my Husband’s fitbit) everyday.  Although I haven’t been working out as a normally do, the Fitbit has provided me with a new challenge in my fitness game.
Essentially a Fitbit is a pedometer (step tracker).  You wear it on your wrist (either left of right) in the band provided, but it can fit into a variety of made-for-Fitbit jeweler accessories (necklace pendant, bangle etc).
I have hit at least 10,000 steps 80% of the time in the last month.  A few times I’ve crossed 12000 steps but some days I fall short (7000-9000).  Last week was particularly disappointing as I came down with a cold and the weather didn’t help.
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Along with tracking steps the Fitbit can also monitor:
  • calories burned (from your activities)
  • active minutes
  • distance
  • sleep
  • hourly activity (tracking if you take 250+ steps in an hour)
You can now track food intake, water intake and your weight.  You can also add other fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking etc.

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Does the Fitbit work?

Yes I would think so.  I think it more accurately counts steps than the iPhone (which is what I was using before).  It’s definitely more compact than a phone and lighter to wear.

Has it helped?

Yes but only if you put in the work!  Also knowing I have a goal of 10K steps, I usually make a mental note of where I should be step wise at what time (ex: 9am I should have hit 2K, by lunch time I should be at 7K or slightly over etc).

Why is it different that just going to the gym?

I am most definitely a gym rat but I haven’t gone in almost 3 months.  Using the Fitbit, I was shocked to find out how sedentary I was. Meaning a 45 minute gym session at lunch time or after work was not the best way to keep my activity level up throughout the day.  The Fitbit has opened my eyes to what it means to be active.  The hourly activity was probably the most shocking because I learned that I had A LOT of sitting-at-a-computer-time (and now I HATE that).  Because of this, I make a conscious effort to get up every hour.

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You can read about the beginning of my Fitbit journey here.